BY: The Axtell Family
GiGi’s Playhouse has been an irreplaceable bee hive of activities for our 47-year-old son Mark after our recent move from the Seattle, Washington area. Our stressful cross-country move was one of those “had-to-do things” to get Mark near his beloved sister as we aging parents who are both in our 80’s will surely need her help in the future.
We were disappointed upon arrival in Maryland to have DDA determine Mark “eligible but without available funding” for State-sponsored activities. In Washington, Mark had a three day per week job in a sheltered workshop (with a steady paycheck) plus caregiver activities each week. This loss left us struggling to keep him fruitfully occupied.
Fortunately, our daughter had already made contact with GiGi’s and its many activities have turned, what appeared at first to be a total disaster for Mark, into a very pleasant and hopeful move into our new home. We have been very impressed with the quality of services and activities we get from GiGi’s, especially the enthusiasm, dedication and caring shown by the staff and volunteers.
Mark has thoroughly enjoyed getting his heart rate up and stretching his muscles at PiYo, practicing his bowling skills during the summer bowling program and socializing with his new friends on Friday nights at Fantastic Friends. It is truly amazing to us that all of these programs are free to families as well!
We can’t adequately express our heartfelt thanks for the open arms welcome we have received from everyone at GiGi’s, but know that you have made a HUGE difference for our family.
Bless you all. Ken, Ingrid and Mark Axtell
Editor’s Note: Debbie serves as the Outreach Chairperson on the GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis Board of Managers.